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Drought aid measure to pass separately from food stamp reforms

House Republican leaders dropped their efforts to tie drought aid for ranchers to the controversial billion-dollar farm bill, opting to take up separate packages in order to tackle some reform measures in the massive spending program.

Congress is expected to pass drought relief before they recess for the August break, and will take another stab at the five-year farm-spending package when they return in September.

“My priority remains to get a five-year farm bill on the books and put those policies in place, but the most pressing business before us is to provide disaster assistance to those producers impacted by the drought conditions who are currently exposed,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The Senate passed the farm bill last month on a 65-34 vote, followed by the House Agriculture Committee that passed the measure on a 35-11 vote. However, Republican leaders hoped to avoid a floor showdown before the summer break and planned on passing a one-year extension of the farm aid that will expire Sept. 30.

However, conservative Republicans wanted to delay the vote until reforms could be made to the food stamp program that is expected to cost $80 billion a year — nearly 80 percent of the funding of the entire farm bill.

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archive

Drought aid measure to pass separately from food stamp reforms

House Republican leaders dropped their efforts to tie drought aid for ranchers to the controversial billion-dollar farm bill, opting to take up separate packages.

House Republican leaders dropped their efforts to tie drought aid for ranchers to the controversial billion-dollar farm bill, opting to take up separate packages in order to tackle some reform measures in the massive spending program.

Congress is expected to pass drought relief before they recess for the August break, and will take another stab at the five-year farm-spending package when they return in September.

??My priority remains to get a five-year farm bill on the books and put those policies in place, but the most pressing business before us is to provide disaster assistance to those producers impacted by the drought conditions who are currently exposed,? said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The Senate passed the farm bill last month on a 65-34 vote, followed by the House Agriculture Committee that passed the measure on a 35-11 vote. However, Republican leaders hoped to avoid a floor showdown before the summer break and planned on passing a one-year extension of the farm aid that will expire Sept. 30.

However, conservative Republicans wanted to delay the vote until reforms could be made to the food stamp program that is expected to cost $80 billion a year — nearly 80 percent of the funding of the entire farm bill.

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Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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